harm

noun
\ ˈhärm How to pronounce harm (audio) \

Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : physical or mental damage : injury the amount of harm sustained by the boat during the storm
2 : mischief, hurt I meant you no harm.

harm

verb
harmed; harming; harms

Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to damage or injure physically or mentally : to cause harm (see harm entry 1) to No animals were harmed in the making of the film. the national interest … was gravely harmed by this attack— Elmer Davis

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Other Words from harm

Verb

harmer noun

Synonyms for harm

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for harm

Verb

injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously. injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success. badly injured in an accident harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss. careful not to harm the animals hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings. hurt by their callous remarks damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness. a table damaged in shipping impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution. years of smoking had impaired his health mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement. the text is marred by many typos

Examples of harm in a Sentence

Noun They threatened him with bodily harm. The scandal has done irreparable harm to his reputation. She'll do anything to protect her children from harm. They have suffered serious physical harm. These new regulations could cause lasting harm to small businesses. Verb He would never intentionally harm his children. chemicals that could harm the environment The scandal has seriously harmed his reputation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Friends of Animals claims the permit violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the National Environmental Protection Act because government officials did not adequately address the potential harm to the belugas of being moved to Mystic. Dave Collins, ajc, "Aquarium agrees to delay beluga whale delivery amid lawsuit," 2 Jan. 2021 What's more, the real-world harm that could result from conspiracy theories tends to hit underrepresented communities harder, said Nicol Turner-Lee, the director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution. Fortune, "The biggest conspiracy theories of 2020 (and why they won’t die)," 31 Dec. 2020 Trump’s assessment of Snowden’s harm was right the first time and has only been vindicated since. Rebeccah Heinrichs, Washington Examiner, "Snowden's no hero," 31 Dec. 2020 With some, harm has been sudden, and spectacular, quickly understood, the response coherent. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Commentary: 2020 doesn’t rival the Great Depression or World War II, but it was its own horror show," 31 Dec. 2020 But this argument fails to consider the harm of cultural appropriation. Greg Moore, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Arizona high school on Navajo reservation clings to mascot tradition, but pro sports can send message," 29 Dec. 2020 True, the immediate consequential harm of your single violation will be very small. New York Times, "I Might Be Able to Jump the Vaccine Line. Should I?," 29 Dec. 2020 Some on social media have wondered what the harm is in Baldwin passing herself off as Spanish — a layered question. Washington Post, "From an Instagram joke to an Alec Baldwin rant: The Hilaria Baldwin accent controversy, explained," 28 Dec. 2020 China is the best in both respects, with the lowest death rate and the least harm to growth of any major economy. Peter Coy, Bloomberg.com, "There’s No Trade-Off Between Lives and the Economy," 22 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The notion that insurers can make safer prescribing decisions than treating providers is highly questionable, since many providers have seen prior authorizations seriously harm patients. Brian Barnett, STAT, "Who’s choosing Americans’ medications — doctors or insurers? The bane of prior authorization," 1 Jan. 2021 McConnell has been concerned that dragging the dispute out could harm Republican votes ahead of two crucial Senate runoff elections in Georgia just a day before Congress would convene on Jan. 6. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Why Sen. Hawley’s objection matters—even if he can’t stop Biden from being President," 30 Dec. 2020 The increase in green crabs could harm coastal species and habitats, the researchers said. Scott Carroll, oregonlive, "Invasive green crabs threaten Dungeness in Coos Bay estuary," 29 Dec. 2020 Experts say that hoarding vaccines could ultimately harm rich countries. Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times, "Rich countries are scooping up COVID-19 vaccines. What about the rest of the world?," 22 Dec. 2020 In addition, Trendacosta said the act will actually materially harm creators by removing safeguards that are in place to protect free expression and allow infringers to opt out of the courts process. Claudia Rosenbaum, Billboard, "Congress Passes CASE Act as Part of COVID-19 Relief Bill," 22 Dec. 2020 Facebook said changes Apple has made to how easily advertisers can track iPhone users will disproportionately harm small businesses that rely on personalized advertisements to reach customers and find new ones. Washington Post, "Facebook says Apple is hurting small businesses," 16 Dec. 2020 For instance, though gray partridges are listed as of least concern, in Britain, the species plummeted by 91 percent between 1967 and 2010 due to threats such as herbicides and pesticides, which can harm chicks. Animals, "Partridges," 10 Dec. 2020 As much as school choice antagonists argue that diverting funds from public schools will disproportionately harm low-income and minority students, charter schools have been serving these students from the beginning, and with good results. Madeline Fry Schultz, Washington Examiner, "The activism that's killing youth education," 10 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of harm

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for harm

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English hearm; akin to Old High German harm injury, Old Church Slavonic sramŭ shame

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Learn More about harm

Time Traveler for harm

Time Traveler

The first known use of harm was before the 12th century

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Statistics for harm

Last Updated

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Harm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harm. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for harm

harm

noun
How to pronounce harm (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage or injury : something that causes someone or something to be hurt, broken, made less valuable or successful, etc.

harm

verb

English Language Learners Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to (someone or something) : to cause harm to (someone or something)

harm

noun
\ ˈhärm How to pronounce harm (audio) \

Kids Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage : injury The storm did little harm to the sheltered beach.

harm

verb
harmed; harming

Kids Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to Too much sun can harm your skin.

Choose the Right Synonym for harm

Noun

harm, injury, and damage mean an act that causes loss or pain. harm can be used of anything that causes suffering or loss. The frost did great harm to the crops. injury is likely to be used of something that has as a result the loss of health or success. She suffered an injury to the eyes. damage stresses the idea of loss (as of value or fitness). The fire caused much damage to the furniture.

harm

noun

Legal Definition of harm

: loss of or damage to a person's right, property, or physical or mental well-being : injury

Other Words from harm

harm transitive verb

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Comments on harm

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